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Opening remarks by Executive Vice-President Timmermans and Commissioner Vălean at the press conference on delivering the European Green Deal for transport

Met dank overgenomen van Europese Commissie (EC), gepubliceerd op donderdag 15 juli 2021, 8:00.

Opening remarks by Executive Vice-President Timmermans

I will be very brief. I am very excited about the fact that we have three proposals to present to you today, which will help us make the shift away from the polluting, emitting forms of transport to clean forms of transport. And I think Adina is ready to present to you exactly what we're doing.

Opening remarks by Commissioner Vălean

Good morning to all of you.

Transport is central to the Europe in which we live today - connected, prosperous with a robust internal market and a competitive economy.

But transport must become more sustainable. We need to act with ambition for the planet, but without punishing our citizens and businesses who rely on transport for their deliveries and supply chains, to get to work, find a job, get to hospital, go on holiday, or simply connect with friends and family. We need to curb emissions, while enhancing our competitiveness, reinforcing the Single Market, and creating new opportunities for European business to flourish.

The three proposals that I have put on the table as part of the overall Fit for 55 package follow this approach.

Let me briefly present them to you:

With our Fuel EU Maritime proposal, we are front-runners. This is the first legislative initiative of its kind for maritime transport.

By setting out clear, long-term targets until 2050, we provide the regulatory predictability needed to unlock investments towards decarbonisation. We expect that renewable low-carbon fuels will reach close to 90% of the maritime energy mix by 2050.

By taking a gradual, technology neutral approach, we limit the costs involved, and allow time for the sector to carefully plan future investments.

By introducing a requirement for the most polluting ships to use onshore power supply or other zero-emission technologies, we will significantly reduce air pollution in ports and coastal areas, and guarantee the effective use of infrastructure gradually being rolled out in ports.

By targeting only ships above 5,000 gross tonnage, we ensure proportionality: addressing 90% of the sector's emissions, without over-burdening SMEs.

And by ensuring that any funds raised thorough penalties are reinvested into the sector, we can help it to manage the transition. We can make sure Europe remains the global leader for high-end sophisticated vessels and maritime equipment.

With our RefuelEU Aviation proposal, we will significantly decarbonise the sector, by transitioning away from fossil energy. We will reduce aviation CO2 emissions by 5% by 2030 and 60% by 2050. Harmful air pollutants would be cut by 9% by 2050.

Here too, we are building a new market: All fuel available to airlines at EU airports will contain at least 5% of sustainable aviation fuels in 2030. This target will ramp-up gradually to 63% in 2050 as industry is progressively able to deploy and scale up production. Our proposal supports the most innovative, scalable and sustainable aviation fuels, notably by including dedicated sub-targets on e-fuels.

Shifting to sustainable aviation fuels will also improve our energy security and reduce our reliance on fossil imports. With the right incentives, such as this blending mandate and the future Renewable and Low-Carbon Fuels Value Chain Alliance we are preparing, Europe will be a front-runner and lead the production of SAF globally, creating more than 200.000 jobs in the EU, mainly in the renewables sector.

Finally, a word about our third proposal: the one that will be most visible and tangible to Europeans across the continent: The Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation will help fix our infrastructure gap.

I would not buy a mobile phone that cannot be charged anywhere, and in a reasonable amount of time. Would you? The same is true for cars, planes, ships, and trains. Whether running on electricity, hydrogen, or synthetic fuels, no business or individual will buy a vehicle if they are not 100% confident that they can refuel or recharge it with ease.

This new Regulation will amongst others introduce clear binding targets on recharging capacity - linked to the electric vehicle fleet size in Member States and along the TEN-T network to boost uptake in all regions, and to ensure the necessary recharging stations are deployed by 2030.

I believe we have three solid proposals, setting out a gradual, realistic approach to decarbonising the transport sector.

Thank you.

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